Trend Watch: Manly Men Pamper Themselves With Polished Pedicures

This week on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” guest star Dean McDermott (Tori Spelling’s hubby) had on toenail polish! Say what? Both he and Kate Beckinsale’s director husband, Len Wiseman, have been seen strutting around LA in sandals to show off their colorful polish. But with around 30% of salon clients being male, they’re not the only bros getting their feet professionally pedicured. As hotel spa director, David Erlich, says, when it comes to treating your tootsies, “Men are the new women.” Yeah, the mantyhose, bras, garter belts, and girdles for men sorta hinted at that…

While colored nail varnish is optional, gentlemen from all walks of life are looking polished with pedicures. Floridian Pastor Jermaine Gordon believes cleanliness is next to Godliness. So, he has a professional cosmetologist take care of his toenails. Fellow salon-going guy, Dr. Bob Wyko, who also sees the hygiene benefits, considers polished feet a sexy way to clean up for his wife.

Dr. Bob waxed philosophic about his pedi to the St. Petersburg Times, saying, “I think it enhances the masculinity. It shows a man is not all muscle and not all about money. If my wife dresses to impress me, I should dress to impress her.” Touché, Dr. Bob!

But even men who aren’t health nuts see the benefit of well-groomed feet. A gamer, whose girlfriend recently dragged his feet into a salon, was inspired to beg his fellow gamers to shake off their grungy image and start getting routine pedicures. In a gamer forum, “ivanctorres” boldly challenged his people, “Are You Man Enough To Get A Pedicure?” The answer seems to be an astounding YES!

Like the top coat, it’s clear — manly men aren’t just toeing the line, they’re breaking grooming stereotypes. In Modesto, CA, at David Lee’s spa, there are monthly nights for men that feature Mexican food and tequila.

But it’s not just for lowbrow bro fiestas — the pedi trend has hit big business and has even gone corporate! To celebrate Sprint’s new Palm Centro phone, Rob K. invited his editorial clients, both men and women, to join him for mani-pedis. After all, what could be more powerful than conducting your meeting from a massage chair? It certainly takes a brave bad ass to walk into a salon full of woman and demand service, that’s for sure. Just look at Larry Malitzky. One day when he was the lone man getting a pedi at a spa in New York, his relaxation was cut short when a gunman came into the salon. But tough guy Malitzky risked ruining his polish and disarmed the psychopath.

Like antiquated attitudes about the foot treatment being too frou-frou for men, the terminology is also changing. Since “spa pedicure” can be construed as effeminate, even to a high-maintenance metrosexual, a lot of salons have re-dubbed the self-indulgence to get rid of the taboo and financially tap into the trend. After adding “The Executive Pedicure” to their menu, the Karen Allen Salon & Spas in Southern California saw a 15% jump in male clientele. While on the East Coast, Emerge Salon of Boston created an entire wing of their spa for men only. With separate stations for “Sports Pedicures,” their business is, an above average 35% male. “We even had a group of men organize a spa day Superbowl party in the Men’s Club,” claims salon owner Joyce Hampers.

So, now that it’s nearly spring sandal time, how do you feel about your man — or any man — getting their feet filed, buffed, AND polished in the chair next to you?